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Ammonia Emissions from a Commercial Broiler House

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  024118,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.10495) @2002
Authors:   John W Worley, Michael Czarick, Anna M Cathey
Keywords:   Ammonia, Emissions, Poultry Housing, air quality

Emission of ammonia gas from broiler houses has become an issue of concern. Yet most of the research that has been done on ammonia in poultry houses is more concerned with in-house air quality than with emissions, and most of the research has occurred in northern Europe where climatic conditions and perhaps management are different from that in the southeastern United States which is the area that produces the largest amount of poultry in the US.

This research monitored ventilation rates and ammonia levels in a commercial broiler house in the southeastern United States to determine the approximate emission rates under hot and cool climatic conditions. In hot conditions, although ammonia concentrations were only in the 3 to 5 ppm range, extremely high ventilation rates resulted in estimated emissions of approximately 35 lb (16 kg) /day/house on some days. The instrument used to measure ammonia levels was not reliably accurate at concentrations below 5 ppm, however, and an error of 1 ppm at these high ventilation rates would result in an error of 20 lb (9 kg)/day/house. In cooler conditions, ammonia concentrations were higher, and ventilation rates were lower resulting in daily emissions similar to summer conditions. However, when the sensor was exposed to constant high levels of ammonia, the output became unstable, rendering these results questionable as well.

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